by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
Big construction vehicles, like fire trucks, are always an attraction to people. Many people model what they see and today many people see specialized heavy duty construction trucks at work. Herpa continues their ever growing line of modern heavy duty trucks with this interesting HO scale Mercedes-Benz 2002 Actros semitrailer (or 'semi-trailer') with a positionable loading crane. At the time of this review Herpa features 326 M-B Actros models on their website.
Mercedes-Benz Actros is a heavy duty truck introduced by Mercedes-Benz in 1996. There are 36 different Actros models, normally used for long-distance haulage, heavy duty distribution haulage and construction haulage. They are modern vehicles that feature many high-tech advances with engines, drivetrains, comfort, ecology, and safety. The Actros comes in several options of rigid or articulated chassis, of 2 X 4, 4 X 4, and 4 X 6 configurations. The operator rides in a cab tailored to the purpose of the truck:
* S type day cab
* M type short sleeper cab
* L type (low and high roof option) sleeper cab
* LH type “MegaSpace” cab.
Wilhem Siemsen GmbH & Co. KG
Based in Eckernförde, Siemsen also operates a concrete and concrete component production and local delivery of heating oil and lubricants. This model is released as triple-mold novelty with a new load, a new grab on the loading crane as well as a platform trailer with centered loading crane.
Your Siemsen Actros is a 2002 model with the Long Haul cab. The crane in the pick-up semitrailer can grasp and position concrete barriers. It arrives factory assembled except for cab mirrors and the crane claw. It’s securely packed in a form-fitted plastic cradle inside Herpa’s red cardstock carton with a display window. One end displays a metallic holographic license label by Daimler. Molded finger slots make it easy to extract the cradle and get to the two side view mirrors, two blind spot mirrors, the crane claw, and several concrete barriers.
The model is skillfully molded and assembled without any blemishes or flaws. Doors, hoods and panels lines are defined with recessed lines. Your driver’s eyes are shaded by an attached sunshade. The grille is molded with open slots.
Four individual mirrors can be attached to the cab. These are delicate parts on their own sprue. The plastic is slightly flexible. Cut them from the parts tree and carefully fit them into the specific pre-made holes and slots. These holes are very small and while some are obvious, mounting the front and side mirrors are not readily apparent.
The chassis is nicely detailed. Note the tread pattern plate behind the cab, the intakes running from the top of the cab rear to the chassis, the fuel tanks, rear suspension, and the fifth wheel detail.
All of this sets atop a detailed two axle chassis. The soft plastic (or rubber) tires have fine tread detail. The hubs are also detailed. This model can be fitted with an optional steering set for the front axle.
The model features headlights and tail lights of appropriately colored clear lenses. The cab interior is a molded piece featuring detailed seats, dashboard and console, and a separately applied steering wheel. It is enjoyably visible through the large cab windows. The windshield is detailed with wiper blades and black chrome.
The cab tilts forward to reveal a detailed Mercedes-Benz Actros MPII 3348 V8 diesel engine with turbocharger and intercooler.
The trailer features basic underbelly and suspension detail, and the landing gear can be raised and lowered. There is no detail in the trailer bed.
The crane is more than basic. Well detailed and including an operator's seat, it can be raised, lowered, pivoted, and extended to do what needs to be done.
Livery and Finish
The model is molded in color. The smooth plastic has quite a sheen to it, giving 'that-just-waxed' look. A shot of matte finish or applying a weathering compound can make the vehicle look like it has been on the job. Siemsen livery and Mercedes-Benz Actros emblems are painted. Herpa does not use decals. The finish is smooth.
On the Job
This HO scale Actros LH Pick-up Semitrailer with Loading Crane is a fun model of a modern specialized heavy duty construction truck. One or more will enhance any modern model railroad or diorama. Recommended.